Mario the Multipla 2021

Received this message yesterday which was lovely but then realised we hadn’t blogged for just on a year and felt really guilty! Life just got too busy with too many responsibilities and blogging unfortunately came too far down the list. But with the world getting back to a sort of ‘normal’, maybe it was a nudge to get back to regular postings.

The last thing Mario did before lockdown was Goodwood Revival 2019, in his usual role as taxi, we had had a great weekend, working hard but meeting up with old friends at our favourite weekend of the year. On the Monday after the event, I took Mario back and there unfortunately he stayed until the end of May this year. (I will get round to posting some pics from Revival).

Amazingly James went to check him over and he started straight away after 20+ months! He gave him a good check over and then we took him on a test drive. It was so good to be back on the road on a lovely sunny Sunday afternoon. It was quite a test too as James navigated us to the top of Bignor Hill, high up on the South Downs. A beautiful spot with lovely views to the sea but a very narrow bumpy semi rough road made it more like a Hill Climb than a Sunday drive. But a successful test and Mario was back in action.

The following weekend I took Mario back to his spiritual home – Goodwood. The first Breakfast Club in two years, a special day for Members only and finally allowed within the last level of Covid restrictions. We had a lovely early morning drive to the circuit and took up our place on the track. It seemed both strange and familiar to be back and slightly weird to be with all those people. A very enjoyable morning was had catching up with friends I hadn’t seen throughout the pandemic and remembering just what a stir Mario causes!

So, here we are in July 2021, things re opening up, Mario has an invite to the Goodwood Members open day in August and is already signed up for taxi duty at the Revival. We’ve been collecting interesting bits and bobs to post and so hopefully will start to get those on here asap.

For the 2019 Revival Mario had a bit of a make-over. after 20 years without a headlining, we finally got round to creating a rather special and unique one. Using my ‘Mario’ design from my Revival coat lining, I had some some rather spectacular Velvet printed at ‘Spoonflower’ and after many hours of measuring and fitting we had it quilted onto wadding and bound to create a panel which we bonded onto the inside of the roof. Amazingly it stayed in place for the 20 months he was shut away and still looked spectacular.

Thank you for being one of the 100,000+ readers and for following Mario’s adventures.


A motoring catch up – 2017 so far…

We’ve been rather lapse with posting so far this year so here is a quick pictorial catch up of what we’ve been up to so far…

London Lisbon
In April James navigated on the London to Lisbon Rally for Michael Moss in the Fiat 2300 which started from Brooklands Museum. The first leg took in roads very near our home, in fact the first regularity finished just a few hundred metres from James’ workshop! Maybe local knowledge helped as they had a great first day. The first coffee stop was at the fantastic workshops of vintage Bentley specialist William Metcalf. After the first day in the UK they took they ferry to France for a further 8 days of intense rallying through France, Spain and Portugal in all conditions from snow to blazing sunshine. They had a great week with a pretty respectable top 20 finish in a car that was rather large for many of the tests.

Haslemere Classic Car Show
At the end of May it was time for the Haslemere Classic Car Show which we organise. This was the ninth year and it grows in popularity every year. Places for the tour and show were ‘sold out’ weeks before the event. We had great gathering of pre-1973 cars, around 90 of which were waved off by the Mayor on our morning tour of about 60 miles with a coffee stop at Lasham Gliding Club. Mario was there in a very useful capacity helping to transport lots of stuff about. He spent the day being admired peeking out between the stands. This year saw the launch of the HCCS Haslemere Hog – a charity event in Haslemere where 60 Pigs have been decorated by different organisations and then sold/auctioned to raise money. RoadHOG is great fun with his illustrations by Derek Matthews and his flying helmet and accessories. Mario even features on one side! A few of his ‘Hoggy’ friends also turned up in a Peugeot pickup to help support the event.

Our two competitions – Best Dressed Car and Crew and People’s choice produced some deserving winners. It was just a shame that after 8 sunny years the show ended a little early with a ‘Monsoon’!

Goodwood Breakfast Club – Soft Top Sunday
Obviously Mario doesn’t have a soft top so Regie had a day out. It was a lovely sunny morning with a good turn out of convertibles at the Circuit. We had a pass and so got to show off at the end of the grid. It was the first time we’d taken Regie out in a while and you forget how much fun he is to drive. RoadHOG who was raffled off at the car show was won by friends of ours who took him along in the back of their Sunbeam which created a lot of interest. Also of interest was one of the 60 new Caterham Seven Sprints, a new car but built in a retro style. It was such a lovely day that we went on down to Bognor.  GRRC Members Drinks – Kennels PhotoBomb
Every month we meet up with local Goodwood Members at the Kennels, it has become quite a tradition at the June meeting to bring our classic/interesting cars along and have a photoshoot in front of the clubhouse. For once it was a lovely summer evening so we had a great ride down in Regie. So that’s us fairly up to date, there are several motoring things coming up including a day at the Festival of Speed tomorrow…

A quick catch up…

Hello strangers, we’ve been very lapse at posting recently, so this will be a quick catch up to date and then hopefully normal service will be resumed.

After the Goodwood Revival and our Wander in Wales with Regie things went a bit quiet on the car front as they often do as winter approaches.

The first Sunday in October though, was the Italian Breakfast Club at Goodwood and Mario had a pass. It was a bright but chilly morning and the circuit was packed with a great selection of Italian cars, including Mario’s ‘girlfriend’ Bella a beautiful Fiat Belvedere, an ‘estate’ version of the first Fiat 500 Topolino and Lord March’s fantastic Lancia Aurelia.

dsc02792dsc02779 dsc02783 dsc02785 dsc02765dsc02768dsc02788Mario was as popular as ever and it was a lovely day for a drive in the countryside.

Later on another lovely sunny day in October, Mario was back on duty as a wedding car – having never done a wedding in all the time we’ve had him, in 2016 we did two in quick succession! This time it wasn’t to be as nerve racking as driving the bosses daughter!

An old friend going back to primary school days asked if Mario could be her wedding car and we were delighted to oblige. Picking up Sarah and her Italian brother-in-law (who obviously loved Mario) from her home locally and taking them to Guildford Registry office and then driving her and her new Husband Chris back home. Chris was really excited to be in Mario and we had a lovely afternoon helping them celebrate.
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After such a happy day the rest of the year took rather a downturn with the loss of one of our best friends Victor. Victor had been a big part of our ‘classic’ life as we first met him at the Jaguar Enthusiasts Club when James first had his Mark 2 Jag 30 years ago. Over the years we had become very close friends and took part in lots of car related activities together including importing the two Subaru 360’s from Japan and going on the Leige-Brescia-Leige and Micro Marathon microcar rallies, plus of course many visits to Goodwood and various shows. We will never forget him with so many fantastic memories.

Victor’s funeral on Armistice Day was sad but very uplifting with the church overflowing with friends, a very large number of who knew him via the classic car world. Many people took their classics and Victor was accompanied on his final ‘road trip’ by his own collection of vehicles including the Subaru, his Jaguar D-type replica, Daimler, Mini Cooper, Austin A40 and what had been his last acquisition – a Bedford army truck!360team Col du Tourmalet DSCN0207.JPG DSCN0244.JPG DSCN3175.JPG img_0770 img_0771 mm_0795

We were both poorly over the Christmas and New Year period so we didn’t get to any of the New Years Day car meets – the weather was atrocious too, so I don’t think we’d have risked either car even if we had been feeling well.

So here we are in January 2017. James is currently in Europe, navigating on the Winter Trial with Herman in the Volvo Amazon. I’m at home trying to get the information for the 2017 Haslemere Classic Car Show up together and update the website but I keep getting interrupted by emails asking ‘how to book’ so I guess it’s going to be a popular event again! We are behind and only have 4 months to go but hopefully in it’s 9th year it will organise itself – I hope.

Events are already planned, Mario has a Chicane Parking spot for the Goodwood Member’s meeting in March, we have applied for a place at Wheels Day on Good Friday and we have a signed contract to be back taxi driving at the Revival. So already it looks like it’s going to be a busy year. We have lots of material in the wings to blog so hopefully there won’t be such a big gap between posts.

A belated Happy New Year to all our readers.mario-bubble-front


You might remember reading the first part of our ‘Weird and Wonderful’ series about the Corvair Futura Concept – we didn’t know where it currently was… anyway we received an email from Scott in the US, who had read the blog, letting us know that it was still owned by Wayne Carini and he had seen it there in January covered in dust – hopefully it will find a new home soon.

Lovely day for a test drive…

Sunday was a lovely sunny day and was a perfect opportunity to take Mario out and check that the ‘operation‘ had been successful. It was also the Victory Wheelers, 10th anniversary Hayling Reunion at the Funland Amusement Park.HR2015-1We had been to this fun show, located right on the beach before and with some friends intending to go too, it seemed an ideal test run for Mario. We set off on a lovely cross country route via Harting – the route out of Harting over the downs used to be used for a hillclimb competition from 1905 till 1924, it’s pretty steep but Mario seemed to make quite easy work of it. We carried on past Stanstead Park into Havant and on to Hayling Island and Mario was performing well, you didn’t feel you had your foot pushed to the floor with nothing happening as it had been before the head gasket was sorted.IMG_6105 IMG_6107 Just as we reach the Island though, Mario seemed to be reving as I was braking, initially I thought I’d caught my foot on the accelerator but then I lifted all my feet off the pedals and we were still moving forward at speed – interesting in traffic! The accelerator was obviously sticking and it was at the engine end, rather than the pedal. We had to stop for a little fettling and it seemed ok, hopefully it had just been disturbed during the recent work but James will have a further look once we are back in the workshop. We carried on and arrived at the Beach which was heaving with hot rods and customs, we couldn’t get into the main display area or the reserve carpark, so we had to park further along the beach.

In the main show area there was a great display of cars, mainly Hot Rods and American, they looked great against the backdrop of the fairground rides. It might be the last time for this sight, as apparently, the fair is going to close and the land used for flats.DSC01059 DSC01060 DSC01063 DSC01064 DSC01068 DSC01069 DSC01070 DSC01071 We took the opportunity to promote our car show putting fliers on the cars.DSC01075 The ‘humans’ then decided it was lunchtime so we all piled into Mario and went to the western end of the beach for fish and chips in the Coastguard Cafe, followed up by ice creams from Pipperellis. Our friends Nikki and Keith had never been for a ride in Mario and they loved it, although Keith, sitting in the front said he had never sat so close to the road in a car before!DSC01080 DSC01082 DSC01083 DSC01084 DSC01085After lunch we set off for a slightly different cross country route back along picturesque lanes where there were masses of bluebells and wild garlic growing. We stopped off to take some pictures, obviously Mario wanted to join in…DSC01089 DSC01137 DSC01140 DSC01151 DSC01161


Best laid plans…

…Last weekend we had planned to take Mario to Goodwood breakfast Club and a small car show but it wasn’t to be.

Mario has been poorly since his overexertions at the last Revival. After his last run at Easter ‘Doctor’ James had diagnosed the problem, and after some research we ordered the new parts – a water pump and Head Gasket from a company in Holland. The delivery was expected before the weekend so Mario was taken apart last Thursday and with due efficiency the package arrived on Friday lunchtime. The plan was to fit the new parts on Saturday so we could take Mario to Breakfast Club at Goodwood on Sunday and a small car show on Bank Holiday Monday…DSC06406 IMG_0857James worked on Mario, all day on Saturday, the water pump fitted just fine but once the head and block was cleaned it revealed that when Mario had got hot, the head had distorted slightly and left an area that water would still seep from and so the head would need skimming. Not a major disaster but a set back, as James’ mill wasn’t large enough to do the job and being a bank holiday weekend we wouldn’t be able to get it done elsewhere until after the weekend, hence the change of plans.

The head before cleaningIMG_0860 Block before cleaningIMG_0861 Cleaned head, you can see the damage bottom rightIMG_0862 New gasketIMG_0863

Breakfast Club was ‘Supercar Sunday’ not a favourite of ours by any means as modern ‘supercars’ really don’t do much for us, Mario hadn’t got a entry pass anyway (can’t understand why as he’s a super little car!) so our main reason for attending was to promote the Haslemere Classic Car Show which we organise. However the forecast was terrible and for once accurate, and Sunday morning was very wet and grey. The posters and fliers, we were hoping to hand out would have got very soggy, so we decided not to go! From Goodwoods pictures it looked like quite a lot of people and cars did brave the horrible conditions and cars such as La Ferrari and the Lamborghini Miura were among the exotica on display. (photo’s from Goodwood forum). From social media after the event it certainly looked as though one Supercar driver didn’t enjoy his day, with pictures posted of a new McLaren in the undergrowth! The drivers over enthusiasm or is there an issue with the McLaren – there have been several reported incidents of them leaving the road without any other vehicles being involved?Goodwood-1 Goodwood-2 Goodwood-3 Goodwood-4Oops

Rather than wasting the day, we took the opportunity of some extra time to continue plotting the route for the Haslemere Show’s tour. 90 pre-75 vehicles are signed up to do a drive of around 55 miles through the beautiful local countryside in the morning before the show. It is difficult to chose the route as we try to find roads we haven’t used before and this is the sixth tour we’ve organised! We also have to find a route that is; interesting; safe – we often find lovely roads but they are too narrow, plus we avoid difficult junctions etc; have a place of interest/refreshments for a halfway stop; the correct distance in a circular route to finish back at the show. We generally go out two or three times trying variations and then have a final run through to make sure all the instructions are clear. The route is written using ‘tulips’ – first used by Dutch rallies in the 1950’s – which are pictorial diagrams showing directions plus written instructions and distances.

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1.Straight on  2.Turn right  3.Second junction at roundabout 4.Turn left at T-juction, pub on left, take next right turn

Example below
1 You have travelled 1.5 miles from previous instruction, 2.5 miles travelled from the start, tulip – straight on past hotel on right
2 Travel another 0.8miles (total 3.3) take a right turn, signposted to Lurgashall Winery, Take Care.
3 Travel another 0.6 miles (total 3.9) Keep left on same road, ignoring a turning on the right.

Route 201120900_Copy20928

The sun came out and the route looked very pretty with lots of wild garlic in bloom and fields of little lambs, hopefully it will be sunny when when run the tour for real in a couple of weeks.

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Monday was a small car show at the Frog and Wicket pub in Eversley near to where our friends live. As we didn’t have Mario to take we just popped over inn the afternoon to see what was going on. The pub was very busy with lots of people enjoying the sunshine and quite a good showing of cars. Our friends had taken their whole collection along to the show – a Daimler, Mini, Jaguar D-type replica and ‘Kato’ the other Subaru 360 which we imported with ‘Nippy’ our 360 and did the Microcar rallies with.DSC01046 DSC01047 DSC01048 DSC01049 DSC01050 DSC01051 DSC01054 DSC01056 DSC01057 DSC01058

On Tuesday morning James was back in the workshop and took Mario’s head to the engineering shop to have it skimmed, 6 thousands of an inch being removed. It’s been previously welded up in a couple of the waterways and the passages need opening out again with a mini grinder to increase the water flow. In the evening he put the engine back together again and so far so good it looks like it’s working, although there now seems to be an issue with the electric fuel pump which seems a bit intermittent, so we are going to try using the original mechanical pump which is still in position and just needs plumbing in to see how that works.IMG_6038

A test drive will now be required to see how everything is working. At least it looks like Mario will make it onto Lion Green for the car show on the 24th, it wouldn’t be the same without him being there…

Happy New Year

Mario would like to wish all his readers a very Happy New Year and lots of great motoring in 2014. We’ve had a good year with some exciting highlights, especially appearing in the Telegraph and on TV for Goodwood, Mario’s celebrity is spreading and we have made lots of new friends around the world. Our readers obviously thought the same as September the 26th, the day the TV programme was shown was the busiest ever on the blog.DSC02897

In 2013 Mario’s blog received over 6000 views which is almost double that in 2012, hopefully we will soon get our 10,000 view ever, so please spread the word. We have been  viewed from 88 countries which is pretty awesome, the UK was the most popular followed by the US and Germany but we also got a lot of attention from Russia, Brazil and Argentina plus even a visitor from Mongolia!

We apologise for the lack of blogs over the last few weeks but with preparations for Christmas, not helped by a 19 hour power cut on Christmas Eve and the newest member of the family – Birkin, a four month old kitten, named after Sir ‘Tim’ Birkin the famous ‘Bentley Boys’ racing driver. (our other cat is called Bentley!).

Original 3d car image by Dominik Kosicki

Original 3d car image by Dominik Kosicki

The 1929 Birkin Bentley pictured on our Christmas card, was the most expensive British car sold at a public auction when it went under the hammer for £5.15m at Goodwood in 2012, to an anonymous bidder from outside the UK. An export ban was placed on the car by the UK government allowing Brooklands Museum time to co-ordinate an attempt to raise the £5.15m to purchase it for the nation._69123484_pa-18844705405992-large

We were hoping to take Mario to the Classic Car Meet at Elstead tomorrow on New Years Day but the weather forecast is showing more of the appalling wet and windy weather we have been experiencing so it looks like he and us will be staying tucked up warm and safe. It’s a shame as last year it was a great event with a wide selection of vehicles. There are quite a few traditional New Years Day events taking place tomorrow, maybe there will be some brave souls out there who will brave the elements, so they won’t be a total washout. Hopefully we will have some better winter weather in the near future and we will be able to take Mario out soon.

There are already several motoring events on the calendar including the new 72 members meeting at Goodwood and of course the Haslemere Classic Car Show and Tour which we organise on Sunday 25 May. We have been researching several interesting blog topics and now the festivities are almost out of the way we will be busy posting them. Please keep reading and pass the blog on to others who might be interested.

Happy New Year from Mario x


Pride before the fall… and back.

A couple of weeks ago we were contacted by the Daily Telegraph, who were interested in doing a feature/driving test on Mario as one of the ‘working’ cars at the Goodwood Revival for their preview feature in the Saturday motoring pages. Mario being the ‘shy, retiring car’ that he is jumped at the chance of showing off and so we turned up at Goodwood Motor Circuit on a bright sunny Tuesday to do the shoot.

Andrew English the journalist was charming and recognised Mario’s innovative design and completely understood that lots of visitors to the Revival like the small ‘unsung’ cars as much if not more than some of the expensive race machinery, the fact that Mario blogs and FaceBooks to his fans clinched the deal!

The Motor Circuit was chaos as the Revival build was well underway and there was a track day going on as well, Andrew’s initial plan of Mario being able to finally get on the track after years of being a taxi was unfortunately a no go but the photographer took some pics outside the Earls Court Building.

DSC02241 DSC02253 DSC02258 As always Mario loved being the centre of attention and the beautiful DB5 that Andrew arrived in was relegated to second place.DSC02265 As this was to be a ‘driving test’ we set off in Mario and drove up to the horse racing course where Andrew took to the wheel and drove back and forth getting the feel and experiencing the complete Mario package, while the photographer sat in the back snapping away. We then dropped the photographer at the Trundle and he was going to take shots of us driving past. We pulled into the Petworth Road to turn round and then disaster struck. There was a horrible noise as we tried to pull away. Total embarrassment Mario had broken down, with a journalist on board!

Since we restored Mario twelve years ago we had incurred very few problems and had never been unable to get home under our own steam. Typically James – human, mechanic and magic fixer – was that day delivering a car to Chester and so he was not amused when we called him just as he was negotiating Spaghetti Junction! A bit of phone diagnosis later and we concluded that the drive shaft had failed.

There was nothing else to do but call the RAC. After a slightly interesting phone call – Mario doesn’t quite tick the RAC’s computers boxes, we were told somebody would be along to take a look in a hour. Anyway ten minutes later a knight on a white charger – well, Tony the fantastic RAC man in his orange van arrived. After a quick inspection to confirm our diagnosis, he opened his ‘Magic’ van, which with a few whirls and growls transformed into a tow vehicle. Tony very carefully eased Mario backwards (no drive) onto the wheel cradles, he just sneaked on, they don’t normally deal with such small vehicles. Securely strapped on and with the steering wheel tied down straight, Tony really carefully drove us home. I have to say I was very impressed with the care and attention he took to ensure that we got back safely.DSC02269 DSC02270 Andrew was very nice about the disruption to the day – well he was driving and so technically I suppose we could say he’d broken it! The photographer thought he had enough images so it looked like the article would go ahead, Mario was reassured that his downfall wouldn’t appear in print so everybody went home fairly happy.

James has since been able to inspect the damage and disassemble the drive shaft, while the shaft itself still had some appearance of splines the coupling it fits into was rather ‘bald’. Fifty years of wear had just worn them away and it could have failed at anytime so better that it did a month before the Revival, imagine the embarrassment of breakdown with a VIP onboard. A trip to see Franco at Ricambio in Wallington produced all the parts to do a complete overhaul of both sides which James will hopefully complete this weekend so Mario will soon be back in fine health.DSC02273 DSC02282 DSC02284 It takes a lot get Mario’s ‘humans’ out of bed early at the weekend but an early morning dash to the newsagents was required this morning to purchase the Telegraph and there in all its glory in the Revival preview supplement was a double page spread on Mario. Andrew has written a lovely, amusing piece, explaining the cars virtues and as promised with no mention of his disgrace, so Mario can have his pride back and bask in the glory of being ‘famous’ again.DSC02347 DSC02349 DSC02350

Summer continues… on the Thames, at Silverstone and Goodwood

This summer has been good, the sun has shone and there have been plenty of things to go to…

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to go to Henley to the Thames Traditional Boat Rally. This event is a huge display of traditionally built craft with the very finest examples of  boatbuilding skills on display. There are around 200 craft on the water from slipper stern launches like the one we were on, gentlemen’s day launches, steam launches, river steamers, sailing craft, vintage speedboats, skiffs, rowing boats, punts, unpowered and electric canoes, right through to vintage sea-going cruisers and many of the famous Dunkirk Little Ships.

The boats take it in turn to parade in classes along the rowing course. There are also pre-50’s cars on display and vintage bicycles. We had a lovely lunch on the boat and then went for a trip down through Henley and then up to Temple Island. It was a stunning day, hot and sunny with loads of beautiful boats with lots of gleaming teak and brass.

DSC01750 DSC01761 DSC01771 DSC01789 DSC01798 DSC01807 DSC01843 DSC01862 DSC01869 DSC01931 DSC01951 DSC01964 The following weekend we went to the Classic Festival at SIlverstone, again without Mario. This annual event is huge but personally I find it a bit low on atmosphere, Silverstone is so spread out and you have to get a bus between the national and international pits. For my personal choice the displays have far too many modern cars and although the actual racing is always good and very competitive it is difficult on a modern GP circuit to get a good vantage point. The cars racing included historic formula one and Group C endurance However we had gone to see a friend race his Lola in the Peter Gethin Trophy for F2 vs F5000, which meant that for one race as ‘Team members’ we could watch from the International Pit Wall. This gave us a great view and as you are so close to the cars as they come down the straight you get a real impression of the speed they are doing.DSC02001 DSC02016 DSC02018 DSC02046 DSC02060 DSC02089 This weekend Mario finally got an outing! It was Thoughbred Sunday at Goodwood Breakfast Club for pre 66 vehicles to get into the spirit of the Revival. We had a pass and so after a horribly early start on a Sunday got in easily and were parked in one of the paddocks. There were a lot of cars there and again it was a lovely sunny morning.

As soon as we stepped out of the car the normal crowd assembled around Mario, loads of people took cards so hopefully even more people will be reading this and liking him on Facebook

I felt rather guilty as I was rather busy on Saturday so Mario didn’t get the promised pre-event pamper. He looked rather grubby to me but his fans didn’t seem to notice! There are a few jobs and some tidying up we need to do before the Revival in September. We are getting excited about it already and there is a surprise afoot so watch this space…

After some sustenance (a bacon buttie) we had a good wander around, a good collection of cars including lots of Aston Martins celebrating their centenary. The theme did seem rather confusing though with quite a smattering of modern sports cars but what the hell everyone was having a good time and as always there were lots of friends to catch up with.
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One of Mario’s fans set to become a star…


Talented young singer/songwriter Greg Johnson’ is now just one step away from playing within The O2 in London after impressing the TeenStar competition judges at the Regional Final in Bournemouth on 14 April 2013.  Greg, aged 14, has now made it through to the Area Finals at Portsmouth Guildhall this Saturday 18 May, and is one good performance away from playing within one of the greatest live music venues in the world.



TEENSTAR is an exciting national talent competition run by Future Music which searches for the UK’s best teens and pre-teens singers, singer/songwriters, rapper and vocalists of all genres who perform either covers or original material.  More than 9000 hopefuls entered TeenStar in its first year.  The competition has music industry judges attend every stage from auditions to the National Grand Final.  Past judges for Open Mic UK include Radio 1 DJ’s Ras Kwame and Annie Nightingale MBE and KISS FM’s Charlie Hedges.

Mario wishes Greg every success in the Area Finals and hopes that the next time Greg gets a ride he’s one of Mario’s VIP guests!


Wow – what a ‘mega’ microcar sale…

Following our last couple of posts, we watched (online) the RM Auction sale of the Bruce Weiner Microcar car collection with great interest, and boy what a sale, it certainly kept our attention and broke several world records.285347_10151426288838815_655708310_n12986_10151426288793815_368970717_n285347_10151426179823815_1354659249_n19781_10151426289073815_1687511394_n

The sale over two days had both memorabilia as well as cars and this saw toy microcars fetching more than we paid for Mario! The sale obviously generated the same ‘mad’ bidding behaviour we witnessed back in London in the 90’s. After the two days of bidding an unusual 100% sale rate was achieved but as no item had a reserve price this was to be expected. The auction saw $9.1million in sales (30% up on estimate), with many of the car lots achieving over $100k.

We watched the sale on RM Auctions line feed which held up pretty well and we were very grateful to Microcars online who were at the sale and kept their blog updated throughout the day with the hammer prices of all the lots. RM always have a very ‘full on’ almost theatrical style of auctioneering and you felt the excitement online so it must have been to quote the Americans ‘awesome’ to be there. Max Girardo the auctioneer will need a holiday after this, keeping up his enthusiasm for the 200 plus car lots, he’s certainly good at encouraging people to part with their money.

65251_10151430421203815_1272858693_n11397_10151426179948815_850591681_nThe star lot of the sale was a 1958 FMR (Messerschmitt) Tg 500 Tiger, a microcar with a top speed of a nearly 80mph (although the Subaru 360 beat it on track during the Micro Marathon!). This mini ‘beast’ in a rather fetching rose and black colourway, had an opening bid of $100k and finally went for a staggering $280,000 plus commission.

Apparently one guy brought 20 of cars on the first day, he is reported to have recently sold his business and thought he’d start an instant collection. The sales success was put down to being a ‘one type’ auction which meant that collectors from all over the world were at the sale or on the phone bidding against each other, plus RM did a superb marketing job, including this wonderful video building hype in microcar enthusiasts everywhere.

On a personal note the Multipla went for a hammer price of $57,500 which although a lovely example, seems rather inflated, especially as Multipla’s aren’t as rare as many of the unusual prototypes and small production cars in the sale. Although several examples have fetched high values particularly in the US, maybe we need to take a look at Mario’s insurance! The Subaru 360, a 1970 model fetched $22k so looks like Mario’s ‘brother’ is also increasing in value.

68953_10151426179828815_606271739_n32171_10151428324108815_890253027_nOf the lots we would have liked if we’d won the lottery, as seen in our recent posts, most went in excess of their estimates (we have good taste!), hammer price for the Fuji Cabin $110k, Peel Trident $90k, Jurisch Motoplan Prototype $90k, Inter 175A Berline $140k. The Frisky Family 3 which had an estimate of $15-20k ended up at $50k but the Mazda R360 Coupe and the Autobianchi Special were within their estimates at $25k and $30k respectively so maybe there’s still hope in increasing our family one day!

The top 12 lots are below, prices including commission and tax
1. 1958 F.M.R Tg 500 “Tiger” – $322,000

156411_10151430410798815_1968127562_n2. 1951 Reyonnah – $184,000 (the front wheels can be moved inwards to make the microcar easier to store)

3. 1958 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter “PEZ” – $172,500

65276_10151430411613815_647011428_n4. 1955 Inter 175A Berline – $161,000

5. 1959 Goggomobil TL-400 Transporter Pickup “Coca-Cola” – $138,000

6. 1963 Goggomobil TL-250 Transporter “Dubble Bubble” – $132,25

527913_10151430473888815_1242736266_n7. 1955 Fuji Cabin – $126,500

525091_10151428249988815_1124309669_n8. 1964 Peel P50 – $120,750

9. 1955 Messerschmitt KR 200 “Vic Hyde” – $115,000

10. 1957 Messerschmitt KR 201 Roadster – $103,500

377602_10151430346123815_1033296417_n11. 1966 Peel Trident – $103, 500

560480_10151428260128815_1964952951_n12. 1957 Jurisch Motoplan Prototype – $103,500

So at the end of the weekend a big result for the tiny cars, we will have to wait to see what effect it has on the ‘normal’ microcar market but whatever happens Mario is still priceless.